In the Art of War, Chinese military theoretician Sun Tzu advised, “appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”
Since gun control supporters are trying to make guns look bad by comparing the number of gun-related deaths to those due to motor vehicle accidents, they’re apparently applying the second part of Sun Tzu’s advice.
To feign strength, gun control supporters have been pedal-to-the-metal on the subject over time. The Violence Policy Center compared gun-related and vehicle accident deaths in 2011. Michael Bloomberg’s news machine did so in 2012. Mother Jones, the publication once edited by Michael Moore, if that tells you anything, did so in 2013. Last year, the Center for American Progress asserted that “gun deaths are on track to surpass motor vehicle traffic deaths for [people under age 25].” And this year, the ideologically comparable Atlantic repeated that assertion in a hit piece that referred to guns as “America’s Top Killing Machine.”
The anti-gunners also have the “weak” part of Sun Tzu’s strategy down to a “T.” Chelsea Parsons, of the “Progress” group, saysthat their guns-vs.-cars propaganda “really resonates with people.” But resonates with whom? As AWR Hawkins reports, “[t]he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) final report on death statistics for 2013 shows there were 35,369 deaths from motor vehicle accidents versus 505 deaths from the accidental discharge of firearms. . . . Americans are 70 times more likely to die in a vehicle accident than by the accidental discharge of a firearm.”
Just as lacking in resonance is the anti-gunners’ theory that government regulation reduced deaths involving vehicles, so the same ought to be true for those involving firearms. From 1981 through 2013 (the first and last year of data reported by the federal government), deaths due to accidents involving “unregulated” firearms decreased 73 percent, while those due to accidents involving highly-regulated motor vehicles decreased only 31 percent. And, two-thirds of the decline in motor vehicle accident deaths has occurred during the last six years, a half-century after Congress imposed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, authorizing the federal government to dictate how cars should be manufactured and roads should be constructed.
What’s really resonating with the American people, is that gun control supporters–wrong about handguns, wrong about the Second Amendment, wrong about Right-to-Carry, wrong about semi-automatic rifles, wrong about ammunition magazines, wrong about ammunition, and the list goes on–aren’t hitting on all cylinders.
The only way that the number of gun-related deaths compares to the number of vehicle accident deaths, is if vehicle accident deaths are compared to the grand total of suicides, murders, defensive homicides by private citizens, legal intervention homicides by law enforcement officers, and the relatively smaller number of firearm accident deaths. And that math is as slippery as a garage floor mopped with 10W-30.